View Full Version : Battery Power

08-11-2004, 08:14 AM

I'm wondering if anyone has any clever solutions for recharging batteries in remote locations. In September I'll be shooting in the field for around 25 days. During this time I will have no access to AC power.
Battery life is obviously an issue, and bringing 20+ charged batts is unrealistic.

There is a slim chance that we might be able to bring a small gas powered generator, but assuming that's not going to happen...any ideas?

Has anyone ever powered off a car battery that is charged by a solar cell?


08-16-2004, 05:30 AM
THere are solar cell power chargers designed for cellphones and laptops. They're not cheap, $200-500 range, and they work in limited degrees..some are supposed to charge a laptop in a few hours, some recharge a cell phone only after 12 hours of exposure.

a direct charge from a car battery would probably make a DVX battery explode eventually, you need to match voltage. I think the DVX's take somewhere around 7.2 volts, car batteries put out 12.

If you can find a DVX car charger that adapts the 12 volt current to the DVX's needs, then you could possably just tap a cigarette lighter port onto a car battery directly and then plug a car charger into that.

I wouldn't want to be carrying car batteries to remote locations though, especially anywhere you cant go with a car.

08-16-2004, 06:07 AM
Thanks J.

I think that's actually the route we've decided to take. We're going to do a solar cell/panel to a car battery, to a cigarette tap, to a power converter. We'll plug our battery charger into the power converter. The whole set up (not including car battery) is under 200. Weight isn't a huge issue as we'll be travelling primarily by boat.


08-16-2004, 06:09 AM
Traveling by boat? Hmm...maybe check into marine grade batteries?

Just a thought.

08-16-2004, 06:13 AM
Marine grade batteries....i'll check that out. Smaller/Lighter maybe?

I bet i'm pretty limited in my battery options once in Peru though.

thanks again,

08-16-2004, 10:09 AM
As far as cigarette lighter chargers go, the Lenmar Mach1 is your best bet.

08-16-2004, 03:26 PM
you can use 14,4 li-ion with dc converter ,
the switt and city teck making 160 w (11amp) batteries , that eqw to 18 -19 amp 7.2(there is 10-15 % loss) *thats equ to 5 3.5 dvx batts , so 5 like that would give you 25 3.5 amp bats .

or thais one *with lenmar*dc charger http://www.electric-fuel.com/defense/azapp.shtml
this is *our "local" company :-)

or this one * http://jadoopower.com/nab.html
you fill tha cans and then convert it to 7.2
if you are doing something interesting maybe they can help you as a promoution

10-04-2004, 11:30 AM
Marine batteries will not be lighter, in fact depending on the type of battery could be heavier due to the thicker plate. However, marine stores are a great source for 12v charging needs (I'm a sailor and routinely go weeks without "plugging in". check out a company called "Jack Rabbit Marine". Pretty much everything you could ever want in 12v. Also, if you do some 12v google searches you will come up with a ton of info.

10-04-2004, 02:10 PM
The panny batteries (or any small DC battery) will draw very little power from a healthy car battery. You can use some "y"s to make your cig lighter into two or more recepticles and charge a couple at a time. Have your battery tested at Sears or wherever just to make sure it's sound. When charging, start and run your car every one or two hours until the Alt meter rises to where it normally is at full charge. this ususally only takes one or two minutes.

If you were recharging laptops and a whole bunch of stuff, to be really safe, you would want to install a second deep cycle battery like this "yellow top, ($125)" http://www.1st-optima-batteries.com/ plus a battery isolator like this http://www.hellroaring.com/bic75150.htm ($140). The isolator charges the starter (1st) battery before starting to charge the deep cycle. Deep cycles batterise are made to be charged, discharged and recharged many times whereas a normal auto batter is made only to give a quick, powerful blast to start the engine.

You probably don't need all that for a handful of panny batteries as long as you start and run your engine for a few minutes every few hours.